The 2021-22 financial year was busy for the Rapid Response Circle (110). Our team is extremely grateful to the individuals, groups and other Circles who helped make the amazing amount of $60,000 available to support families and individual refugees and asylum seekers in urgent need over that year. Demand has continued at a fast pace in the first 4 months of this new financial year and currently the Circle is about $2,000 in deficit. If you can, please make a donation now to ensure that the Rapid Response Circle can continue its focus of filling payment gaps when no other option is available.
How the Rapid Response Circle helps
The Circle’s priority is fast, one off or short-term emergency support. However, ongoing living expenses totalling $3,715 are currently helping seven men and a mother of four for whom no other source of continued survival finance has yet been found. One man is not allowed to work, another can’t find enough work, a third is studying full-time and the remaining four have physical health/mental health issues which prevent them from working full-time or at all. The mother has no Visa, so no income. She does have access to Medicare. As she uses public transport, her access to jobs is limited. Other Circles and the St Vincent de Paul help these same people with rent or study costs and Foodbank Vouchers are provided wherever these can be used.
Even a basic living allowance does not prevent crises such as unexpected large electricity and gas bills for which there is no money to pay. In the past few months the Rapid Response Circle has received request to pay bills, some many months overdue, ranging in price up to $800.
Requests to pay medical costs have also been significant. They have included regular medication for asthma and diabetes, two series of injections into the eye, and specialist eye and retina assessment and treatment. Most dramatically, a series of specialist Physio treatments have been covered for a young mother who woke up one morning unable to walk. An application has been made for NDIS support, but her capability lessens while she waits.
Making life more bearable
There are a number of financially smaller, but no less important, ways in which the Circle has assisted asylum seekers and refugees in the past few months. A humble request came from a woman with cancer who had infected burns from radiotherapy. She asked for a little money to buy a new set of bedding so she could wash her sheets as needed. She had been unable to find any at local Op Shops. The Rapid Response Circle was very happy to be able to help with that. Later we fulfilled her wish for art materials so she could experiment with at home, as outings are limited to appointments.
A variety of new materials were donated or purchased at minimal cost and delivered with love to many people. Warm clothes and bedding have helped two families facing a prolonged first winter, and work boots meant another could take up a job offer.
How you can help
Some of you reading this Appeal will be in a similarly challenging financial positions to those described. Every dollar helps, but so do your continued positive wishes and advocacy. If you can, please make a donation (reference Rapid Repsonse Circle (110) on donation form), and pass this onto others who may also be able to help.
Trish D and the Rapid Response Circle Team